How the climate impacts your solar panels

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Solar panels convert solar energy into electricity to power your home. Because of this, it's obvious that solar panels perform well on a bright, sunny day, but unfortunately the weather doesn't always play along. If you are thinking about installing solar panels, you may be concerned about how they work in different weather conditions. This article explains how the weather will affect your solar panels.

Solar panels and weather conditions

Since solar panels are usually installed on the roof, they must be able to withstand all weather conditions and function. Below is a summary of performance in some of the most common weather conditions.


Solar panels absorb and convert photons from the sun into usable electricity. The sun is constantly releasing these photons and the solar panels can absorb and use them even when they are not exposed to direct sunlight. However, when the sky is cloudy or foggy, the efficiency of the solar panel is inevitably lower than on a clear, sunny day. Most experts agree that solar modules work with an efficiency of around 25 percent on very cloudy days. Even so, solar panels can still work in cloudy weather.


Because of their electrical components, you may be concerned about how your solar panels will withstand rain. Rest assured that these panels are designed to withstand wetness and rain. The rain can even help wash away the dirt that has built up on your solar panels.


Solar panels should also be able to withstand snow and ice. Production problems arise when snow collects over 5 cm on your solar modules and blocks out photons. The annual production information provided by your installer should include losses due to snow cover during the year so that the snow does not need to be removed. Let Mother Nature take her course.


It's not uncommon for people to suffer hail damage to their roofs, cars, or windows. However, it is highly unlikely that your solar panels will be damaged by hail. Solar panels are designed to withstand moderate hailstorms, and you probably won't have any problems unless the hailstorm is unusually extreme.


Similarly, solar panels are built to withstand wind speeds of at least 150 km / h and comply with local wind speed approval guidelines. If your city is hit by a tornado, the modules could be damaged. Under normal storms and circumstances, well-installed solar panels can withstand strong winds.


Even temperature can affect the efficient operation of solar panels. You might be surprised to learn that solar panels actually work better in cold weather than they do in hot. This is because the efficiency of the solar panel depends on the amount of sunlight available rather than the heat.

Knowing how the weather will affect your solar panels gives you peace of mind that you need to install modules in your home or facility. If you are looking for a solar panel installation in New York or need advice on installing solar panels, contact Solar Liberty and we can help.


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